The Inch Point-to-Point committee has agreed to play host to this year’s exciting renewal of the International Point-to-Point which takes place at Inch on Wednesday 23rd March. Some of the best amateur riders from Britain and Ireland, comprising of four men and four women from each country, will race against each other in a team competition. Their mounts will be determined by lots drawn after declaration time and the highest rated horses will be allocated to the challenge to give each team the best chance of ensuring competitive rides.
First run by Tattersalls and the Louth Hunt in 2013 and again in 2014, it was then hosted in the UK for the first time earlier this year when staged at Chaddesley Corbett. Gina Andrews and Will Biddick have enjoyed much success at this event and ensured that Team GB have been the dominant force so far, although Derek O’Connor struck a blow for the Irish lads this when taking the Men’s race at last season’s renewal.
Will Biddick dominated the results winning both renewals that were held in Ireland, ensuring it was a double victory for the men’s away team who came out on top come out on top on Irish soil. The British Ladies Team have also performed remarkably well winning two of the three contests thanks to the efforts in particular of Gina Andrews who has been a regular visitor to the winners enclosure in this format.
Staging the Challenge contest at the hugely popular midweek Inch fixture during the Easter Holidays is sure to draw strong crowds to the Cork venue which has a history of producing top quality graduates with the likes of Cheltenham Festival winner O’Faolains Boy having won his maiden at the course back in 2012. Grand National winner Silver Birch and Champion Chaser Finians Rainbow are other graduates from this popular meeting.
Inch Point to Point Chairman Kevin Galvin said, ‘When we were presented with the opportunity to stage the jockey challenge we jumped at the chance. Point-to-Point meetings such as ours are at the very heart of national hunt racing. We are a small committee but we are passionate about supporting any initiative that helps keep Point-to-Point racing alive. More than that we are delighted to welcome the top jockey’s from Ireland and the UK to the track. This will not be just a great event for the local racing population but also the wider community. We are very excited about it’.
Clare Hazell, Chief Executive at the Point-to-Point Authority said, ‘Last year it was a pleasure to welcome the star names from the Irish Pointing scene to compete on a British Point-to-Point course. The huge crowds at Chaddesley Corbett were treated to some terrific finishes and were particularly honoured to witness the legendary Irish rider Derek O’Connor come out on top in leg two of the Challenge. British riders really enjoy competing in the International Challenge, and the 2016 rematch is certain to be one of the highlights of their season. The PPA are looking forward to working together with Tattersalls and the team at Inch where we will again see some of the best talent from both sides of the Irish Sea battle it out. All point-to-point and racing fans are sure of a warm welcome and should get the date in their diaries now’.
Richard Pugh, Tattersalls Ireland added, ‘The relationships between UK and Irish Point to Points have been developed by this initiative and it is very exciting to now be able to host the UK team at such a well-established Point-to-Point. Inch is a great occasion with a terrific holiday atmosphere and the ability to produce top class horses. It will showcase our sport at its very best and is something to look forward to’.
Check out our dedicatied International P2P section of the website, which has all the neccessary Travel Information, Course Details and much more by clicking HERE
The allocation of riders will be the same as previous years:
1. The top eight rated horses will be allocated to the eight riders who are part of the International Riders Challenge.
2. The ratings of these horses are to be decided by the National Hunt Handicapper and p2p.ie for the purposes of this race.
3. A coin toss will be used to determine which team will be allocated the highest rated horse.
4. Each team must nominate a ranking for their four riders 1, 2, 3, & 4.
5. The team winning the coin toss will be allocated the highest rated horse and the other team will be allocated the next highest rated horse and so on amongst their four riders and the eight horses.
6. For the purposes of the allocation of riders, the horses will be listed in the order in which they are rated on a designated part of the racecard (separate to where the entries are listed).
a. Horses on the same rating will be listed alphabetically.
b. Horses that are not eligible for a rating will be listed in racecard order.
c. In the event that there are less than eight horses with a rating declared then the next
declared horse listed will be allocated a rider.
7. Points will be awarded to riders according to their finishing position as follows
First = 11 points
Second = 7 points
Third = 5 points
Fourth = 3 points
8. In the event of the race dividing, rules 1 to 7 above will apply to each divide for the purpose of allocation of riders.
In the event of a dead heat for any position, both riders will be allocated the points for the position for which they dead heated, i.e. If there is a dead heat for first, both riders would get 11 points and the points for second place would not apply. This will be the same for a dead heat for any of the first four finishing positions.
The system for picking riders for the Irish Team will be the same as previous years; with the Top four riders in the Leading Riders Table by 15th February 2016 earning selection. In the incident of a tie (most amount of winners and if a tie rider with most rides will get preference.
The UK Teams will be chosen by the Point-to-Point authority in the week commencing 15th February 2016.